Advertisement

Can't Wait For Saturday | Hey Fox, try these games on Friday nights. Thank me later

Apr. 4—***

Fox will show Friday prime-time games starting this season, carrying matchups from the Big Ten, Big 12 and Mountain West.

The plan is to still put the best game each week on its Big Noon Kickoff. You remember, the one that planned to visit Champaign-Urbana last season before changing its mind. Maybe this year.

If I am the Fox sports execs, I am going to fill the Friday slot with the second-best matchup of the weekend.

I did quick run through the schedule and here is my early guess of games that could be shown:

Week 1: Fresno State at Michigan. The best game of the weekend, LSU vs. Southern California. is already set for Sunday. So Big Noon takes Penn State-West Virginia, leaving the defending national champions for Friday night.

Going to be fun to see Sherrone Moore is his first official game as boss.

Week 2: Kansas at Illinois. Texas-Michigan is a lock for Big Noon. Rivalry game Iowa State-Iowa is an option, but the guess here is it stays on Saturday.

Bret Bielema's team will be looking for revenge after last year's loss to Lance Leipold and the Jayhawks.

Week 3: Oregon at Oregon State. Big Noon is going to take Alabama at Wisconsin. That leaves the longtime rivalry with added juice because the Ducks left the Beavers behind when they fled to the Big Ten. Oregon is considered a strong bet for the playoffs. Oregon State has a new coach and a shaky league situation. Friday night in Corvallis seems like a great plan. I'm sure the fans will be kind.

Week 4: Iowa at Minnesota. Floyd of Rosedale under the lights. Southern Cal at Michigan is a near certainty for Big Noon. The Hawkeyes and Gophers getting together before the first snowstorm makes for a fun night in the Twin Cities.

Week 5: Ohio State at Michigan State. New coach Jonathan Smith gets his first shot at the Buckeyes, who are preseason Top 5 according to anyone with a clue. Big Noon: How about Illinois at Penn State Will there be another nine-OT thriller?

Week 6: Michigan at Washington. Rematch of last year's national title game without the quarterbacks, who will be first-round draft picks by the NFL later this month, Both teams also have new coaches, Moore and Jedd Fisch, who I will definitely call "Jeff Fisch" at some point this season.

Week 7: Penn State at Southern California. Remember when James Franklin was a rumored candidate to take over the Trojans? Just a hunch the excellent reporters covering the game will bring it up during the week. With its L.A. home, Southern California is a good bet to get many of the Friday night slots.

Week 8: Michigan at Illinois. Hear me out on this one. It is the 100th anniversary of the Red Grange game, when he became a national hero. Why bury that game in the middle of a busy Saturday when it can be showcased on the actual anniversary? No reason. Imagine a Grange-like figure coming out of the smoke durjng the pregame, giving the Wolverines quite a scare. Put 39-14 on the scoreboard.

Week 9: Nebraska at Ohio State. First time the two will get together in Columbus since the COVID season. And that was no fun for anyone. Nebraska figures to be improved in Matt Rhule's second season.

Week 10: Wisconsin at Iowa. By this time, the Hawkeyes new offense should be rolling. Or, the fans will be wishing for the glory days of Brian Ferentz.

Week 11: Maryland at Oregon. We are going to see the Ducks with new quarterback Dillon Gabriel as often as possible. Having been to a night game at Autzen Stadium, I assure you it will look great on TV.

Week 12: UCLA at Washington. Old Pac-12 rivals get together in Seattle's cold and snow. Just like the good old days.